Researchers Observe Topological Effects for Light
Topology — the understanding of how things are connected — remains abstract, even with the popular example of doughnuts and coffee cups. This concept, esoteric as it appears, is also neat because it is the basis for creating ultra-stable quantum “playgrounds.” In topological systems, certain quantum behaviors can be carefully probed and even harnessed for all kinds of practical applications — from metrology to electronics. Topological insulators, for instance, have garnered attention because they exhibit quantum Hall physics practically off-the-shelf — without the fuss of stringent laboratory conditions. More recently, scientists have sought to go beyond these exotic materials, by designing devices whose topological features can be tuned, or even generated on-demand, like a switch.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/10/researchers-observe-topological-effects-light